Ysis Alonso Espaņa
Ysis Espaņa, a soprano, is a singer who has inspired countless listeners. Equally adept at singing in Spanish and English, she has released over a dozen recordings in her native language and a half-dozen in English. The late Hugh Martin, a convert to the Seventh-day Adventist church late in life and a former accompanist for Judy Garland, has described her as an "enchanting singer," possessing a lovely voice with a "caressing quality, perfect intonation, phrasing as natural as conversation, and always subtle and understated."
Ysis was born in Cuba and grew up in Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, the daughter of Rene Ramiro and Waldina Lopez Alonso, Adventist missionaries in those countries. She started her musical training at a very early age on piano and later studied voice at the Santa Clara Conservatory of Music.
She returned to Cuba after her college days and toured with groups in that country. In 1966, six years after Fidel Castro came to power, Ysis emigrated to the U.S., eventually settling in Texas with her husband, Ramiro. She has continued lessons with voice teachers at what is today Southwestern Adventist University and at the University of Texas in Arlington. Most recently she has studied voice with Paul Tucker.
While she works at the Texas Conference of SDA as an administrative assistant, Ysis spends many of her weekends on the road with her music ministry. She has sung throughout North, Central, and South America and in the Philippines, Japan, and Africa and has been featured on 3ABN and Esperanza TV.
Reger Smith, Jr., "In All Directions," Adventist Review, May 2005; Columbia Union Visitor, 15 May 1998; Obituary (Rene Ramiro Alonso), Inter-American News, October 1990, and Southwestern Union Record, September 1990, 17; Biography at ysisespana.com, 2009; other online Sources.